What Is Ruby Ball Cabbage: Tips For Growing Ruby Ball Cabbages

What Is Ruby Ball Cabbage: Tips For Growing Ruby Ball Cabbages

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By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Red cabbage is a versatile and easy to grow vegetable. In the kitchen it can be used raw and also stands up to pickling and cooking. Ruby Ball purple cabbage is a great variety to try.

It has a nice, sweet flavor and will stand in the garden for weeks without splitting, so you don’t have to harvest it all at once.

What is Ruby Ball Cabbage?

Ruby Ball cabbage is a hybrid variety of ball head cabbage.These are cabbages that form tight heads of smooth leaves. They come in green,red, or purple varieties. Ruby Ball is a pretty purple cabbage.

Horticulturists developed Ruby Ball cabbage plants forseveral desirable traits. They formcompact heads that allow you to fit more plants in a bed, tolerate heat andcold well, mature earlier than other varieties, and can stand in the field atmaturity for several weeks without splitting.

Ruby Ball also has important culinary value. This cabbagehas a sweet flavor compared to other cabbages. It works well raw in salads andcoleslaws and can also be pickled, stir fried, and roasted to enhance theflavor.

Growing Ruby Ball Cabbages

Ruby Ball cabbages prefer conditions similar to those of anyother cabbagevariety: fertile, well-drained soil, full sun, and regular water. Cabbages are coolweather vegetables, but this variety does tolerate more heat than others.

Whether starting from seed or using transplants, wait untilthe soil temperature has warmed to 70 F. (21 C.). Expect to be able to harvest RubyBall between August and October, depending on when you planted and yourclimate.

Cabbage is fairly easy to grow and doesn’t require muchmaintenance beyond watering and keeping weeds at bay. A few pests may become anissue, though. Watch out for aphids,cabbageworms,loopers,and rootmaggots.

Since this variety holds well in the field, you can harvestheads only as you need them up until frosts begin. Then, the heads willstore for a few weeks to a couple months in a cool, dry location.

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Manage Cabbage Plant Pests With Companion Planting

These plants are good neighbors for cabbage:

  • Aromatic herbs: Chamomile, hyssop, thyme, rosemary, dill, peppermint, spearmint, sage, oregano
  • Garden edging: Yarrow, marigolds
  • Root vegetables: Onions, beets, celery

Sage and rosemary are also especially effective for deterring cabbage moths. Chamomile enhances cabbage’s flavor with sulfur, potassium, and calcium. Not only do these culinary herbs repel insect invaders, but they add a lovely scent to the garden. Planting pungent culinary herbs between cabbage rows helps control weeds, repels insects, and enhances cabbage flavor.

Plant a few clumps of Yarrow (Achiliea Milliefolium) around the perimeter of the garden. Yarrow is a super companion plant. It improves poor soil and the vitality of neighboring plants. Yarrow also repels unwanted insects and is a beneficial addition to the compost pile.

Marigolds (Calendula) planted around the base of cabbage plants is an effective companion planting trick. Marigolds are an attractive garden edging, and they’re most effective in repelling pests, such as aphids and cabbage moths, that love to feed on tender, young cabbage. Onions, beets, and celery are also helpful companion plants for cabbage. They enhance the flavor of cabbage plants and repelling insects that can spoil the crop.

These Plants Are Bad Neighbors For Cabbage:

Cabbage Varieties

There are many different varieties of cabbage. I’m going to share with you some of the most common types and their uses so you can decide which is best for you.

Canon Ball Cabbage

This variety of cabbage looks like an overgrown brussel sprout. This variety of cabbage is a good option for shredding and making coleslaw and sauerkraut.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy is an excellent variety to sauté, make stir-fries with, and also include in soups. Because Bok Choy has tender leaves, it can be used in a variety of different dishes, from stir-fries to salads.

Choy Sum

You may not recognize this variety of cabbage by this name, but what if I told you another name for it was Chinese cabbage? Then you might recognize it a little easier. This cabbage variety is great for including in an Asian inspired salad.

Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage

This cabbage is a green variety. It usually weighs around four pounds, and is suitable for both sautéing and steaming.

If you would like a more traditional style of cabbage, then you should consider trying this one.

January King Cabbage

The January king cabbage is a unique variety with curly, blue, and green leaves. It looks rather snazzy when you cook with it.

If you want to grow a cabbage that you can make special occasion meals with, then you’d love this variety because it is great for roasting.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage is a variety that gets away from the typical round shape and has a longer form to it. It also has a crispy stem.

Because this cabbage has a sweeter flavor and is softer than most other varieties of cabbage, it is a great option to use raw in a salad or to steam.

Portugal Cabbage

Portugal cabbage is another green cabbage variety. It has large, ribbed leaves, but it doesn’t grow a ‘head’ like other green cabbage varieties.

However, be advised that the leaves of this cabbage are tougher. It is good for cooking in soups.

Red Drumhead Cabbage

I love red cabbage. It adds a nice crunch to recipes and some color as well. Most red cabbages are good for pickling. But if you aren’t a fan of pickled cabbage, you can also use red varieties shredded in coleslaw too.

Red drumhead is a particularly tasty variety.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage is another type that looks pretty fancy. It has curly, green leaves that are eye-catching.

This variety of cabbage is great for making salads, stir-fries, fermenting, and for making kimchi as well.

Walking Stick Cabbage

This unusual variety grows to be around two to three feet high and looks more like kale than a cabbage.

But you can sauté the leaves. The fun part about this cabbage is that it got its name because the stems are so sturdy that they were once saved to make walking sticks from.

Winningstadt Cabbage

This cabbage variety has dark green leaves that have a sheen to them. Though this type of cabbage will stand out, it also needs a lot of growing room because the leaves stretch out three to four feet across.

This variety has a sweeter flavor and is suitable for sauerkraut, coleslaws, and salads. Just be advised, it attracts worms because of the wingspan of the leaves.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are small cabbages that, in my opinion, are delicious. They are also versatile as well. You can use Brussel sprouts for roasting, sautéing, and steaming as well.

However, if you grow Brussel sprouts, remember to keep them on their stems as long as possible because they will stay good after harvest for weeks as long as they are left intact.

Green Cabbage

Finally, I wanted to mention green cabbage as its own variety. There are many different types of green cabbage such as ‘Golden Acre,’ ‘Flat Dutch,’ and ‘Danish Ballhead.’

They are all round, green cabbages that are good for pretty much anything. You can sauté them, use them in slaw, or even fry the leaves.


Cabbage is a popular part of diets around the world. This vegetable's strong flavor and color enhance dozens of vegetable recipes. In this article, we'll talk about growing cabbage, selecting and serving cabbage, and the health benefits of cabbage .

Cabbage is a cool-weather crop. See more pictures of vegetables.

Cabbage is a hardy biennial that is grown as an annual. It has an enlarged terminal bud made of crowded and expanded overlapping leaves shaped into a head. The leaves are smooth or crinkled in shades of green or purple. The head can be round, flat, or pointed. Cabbage is easy to grow in the home garden.

Common Name: Cabbage
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea Capitata Group
Hardiness: Very Hardy (will survive first frost)

In the next section, we'll show you how to grow cabbage.

Want more information about cabbage? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature cabbage.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening : We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Cabbage is a great plant for your home vegetable garden. It is easy to grow in a home garden, and, once harvested, can be enjoyed in numerous dishes.

Cabbage is a cool-weather crop that can tolerate frost but not heat. If the plants are cold for too long, or if the weather is too warm, the plants will bolt (go to seed without forming a head). If the head has already formed, it will split in hot weather. Splitting happens when the plant takes up water so fast the excess cannot escape through the tightly overlapped leaves, and the head bursts.

Cabbage is a great choice for home vegetable gardens.

Cabbage likes fertile, well-drained soil with a pH in the 6.5 to 7.5 range. Cabbages are usually grown from transplants . Where there's a long cool period, seed can be sown directly in the garden in the fall for winter harvest. Plant transplants that are four to six weeks old plant two to three weeks before the average date of the last frost.

Cabbages mature in 60 to l05 days from transplants. To harvest, cut off the head, leaving the outer leaves on the stem.

Types of Cabbage

There are hundreds of varieties of cabbage, with green cabbage being the most familiar. Below are four of the most common varieties of cabbage.

  • Earliana, harvest at 60 days from transplants, is a small, compact early variety.
  • Early Jersey Wakefield, harvest at 63 days, produces heads that are full-sized, pointed, and with a sweet flavor.
  • Ruby Ball, harvest at 68 days, produces purple heads that are four to six pounds it is an All America Selection.
  • Cairo, harvest at 85 days, is an excellent red that is disease resistant.
Selecting cabbage is important to enjoying it in your favorite recipes. Keep reading to learn how to select and prepare cabbage.

Want more information about cabbage? Try:
  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature cabbage.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening : We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Choose cabbage with a
tight, compact head.

When choosing green and red cabbage, pick a tight, compact head that feels heavy for its size. It should look crisp and fresh, with few loose leaves. Leafy varieties should be green, with stems that are firm, not limp. Store whole heads of cabbage in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. If uncut, compact heads keep for a couple of weeks. Leafy varieties should be used within a few days.

Tips for Preparing and Serving Cabbage

Discard outer leaves if loose or limp, cut into quarters, then wash. When cooking quarters, leave the core in as this prevents the leaves from tearing apart. If shredding cabbage for coleslaw, core the cabbage first. But don't shred ahead of time once you do, enzymes begin destroying vitamin C.

Forget old-fashioned corned beef and cabbage recipes. More nutrients will be preserved and the cabbage will taste better if it is cooked only until slightly tender, but still crisp -- about 10 to 12 minutes for wedges, five minutes if shredded. Red cabbage takes a few minutes more leafy varieties cook faster. To solve cabbage's notorious stink problem, steam it in a small amount of water for a short time and do not cook it in an aluminum pan. Uncover briefly, shortly after cooking begins, to release the sulfur smell.

Combine red and green cabbage for a more interesting cole slaw. Bok choy and napa cabbage work well in stir-fry dishes. Savoy is perfect for stuffing.

Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of cabbage.

Want more information about cabbage ? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Check out recipes that feature cabbage and other vegetables.
  • How to Prepare Cabbage : Learn how to prepare and cook cabbage.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening : We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Red cabbage has health benefits
similar to green cabbage.

Cabbage ranks right up there with broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts with a reputation for fighting cancer . It's also a good source of vitamin C , fiber, potassium, and other nutrients. Cabbage also offers a major payoff -- the fewest calories and least fat of any vegetable.

From green cabbage you'll enjoy a fiber boost and a respectable amount of vitamin C. Two types of cabbage, savoy and bok choy, provide beta-carotene -- an antioxidant that battles cancer and heart disease. For those who don't eat dairy products, bok choy is an important source of calcium, which may help prevent osteoporosis and aid in controlling blood pressure.

The phytochemicals in cabbage, called indoles, are also being studied for their ability to convert estradiol, an estrogen-like hormone that may play a role in the development of breast cancer, into a safer form of estrogen -- powerful incentives to add cabbage to your diet.

Watch the video: Garden Pests: 8 Ways to Protect Your Cabbages


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